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Monday, December 29, 2008
2008’s ten best storiesAccording to the San Francisco Examiner, anyway. It's a pretty good list, although many Cubs' fans may disagree that "Heartbreak at Wrigley" was one of the "best" stories of 2008.
Off the top of my head, here are a couple of additional things I'd include if I were the sort to make end-of-year lists:
The advent of instant replay: It's possible that its adoption was inevitable, but the fact that it was implemented in the middle of the season was quite a thing, no?
Cliff Lee's monster season: The guy was hurt and demoted in 2007 and had to fight for a spot in the rotation last spring. While many have tried to deflate his accomplishments a bit by noting that he didn't exactly face the toughest competition this season, there wasn't anything he could have done about that, and the fact is that he was unquestionably dominant all season long.
Maddux hangs 'em up: Maybe it's retrospective in that he didn't announce it until the season was over, but Greg Maddux's swan song is kind of a big deal.
Mussina too: Ditto. I draw the line before Salomon Torres and Todd Jones, however.
Big, early contracts: They've been happening for a few years now, but Evan Longoria signing a contract a mere six games into his Major League career set the new standard for pre-arbitration long term deals. In this environment Ryan Braun's deal, which came less than a year after his debut, seemed almost like an insult by comparison.
Lidge-riffic: Maybe this is a subset of the Phillies winning the World Series, but I found Brad Lidge's 48 saves in 48 chances (including the postseason) to be far more impressive than K-Rod's 62 saves.
The Dodgers leaving Vero Beach: Maybe it's not that important in the grand scheme of things, and maybe the traditional arrangments between teams and spring training towns truly ended a long time ago, but the end of Dodgertown will probably be viewed as a signpost of sorts when there are only like 5 consolidated spring training facilities one day. The Dodgers-Red Sox exhibition game that drew 115,000 fans to the L.A. Colliseum was less important, but it was pretty neat too.
Retreat to Milwaukee: Hurricane Ike sending the Cubs and Astros to Milwaukee wasn't worth all of the Astros' whining, but it was pretty remarkable all the same.
I'm sure there is some stuff I'm forgetting.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 9:16am
I’d probably add Josh Hamilton’s impressive display during the HR derby to that list. Although 2007 was his real “redemption” year, that show that he put on at Yankee Stadium was unreal.
Posted 12/29 at 10:45 AM
Sara K said...
Surely the BBWAA’s belated inclusion of Neyer and Law is one of the 10 most significant baseball events of the year (on somebody’s blog somewhere).
Posted 12/29 at 10:45 AM
The 2008 season was also, interestingly, the year of The Successful Mid-Season trade. Look at how the Ramirez-Bay trade worked out. I am not a huge fanny of Manny, but does LA surge like that in the last month without him? Or, do the Brewers make it to the post-season without what Sabathia brought with him? It was also interesting, and, personally frustrating, to see the Angels and the Cubs, the two monsters of their respective leagues, flame-out in the first round of the playoffs.
Posted 12/29 at 12:18 PM
I think I may have to include officially stating that all playoff and WS games have to be complete nine inning affairs, and the whole Game 5 debacle that prompted said clarification, as a top 10 story.
Posted 12/29 at 05:40 PM
The Tigers finishing last with the 2nd highest payroll in the game.
Posted 01/04 at 08:33 PM